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Some gleaming, towering modernist glass monolith just wouldn’t play in lovely, historic Barcelona. That’s why the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona makes its home where it does, in a classic bank building that’s the better part of a century old. The stately facade blends well with its tony Eixample surroundings, on the Passeig de Gràcia — and it’s not until you’re inside that you enter another world entirely.
The central atrium, which you cross on a very dramatic walkway, is something out of the original Star Wars, a deep white void lined with interior windows. The lobby and restaurant are lined with patterned screens that suggest a 22nd-century version of traditional Islamic architecture. The spa is pure moody futurism, a darker sort of sci-fi, more Ridley Scott than George Lucas. And on the rooftop you’re brought back to the present, on a pool deck with a panoramic view of the surrounding Barcelona skyline.
After all that, the rooms would have to be very impressive indeed if they’re going to compete. They are and they do. Hardwoods and muted masculine tones feel distinctly European — the only vestige of Asian influence, usually a Mandarin standard, is the general simplicity of the clean-lined open-plan spaces. And you’ll sleep the sleep of the just in these expertly soundproofed rooms — they’re so quiet you’ll wonder if that’s the real Barcelona out there or just a silent replica.
- 98 Rooms
- Style: Cutting-Edge
- Atmosphere: Lively
- 2 Guest Reviews
- Mandarin Oriental Barcelona
- Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40
- Barcelona, Spain